Dietrich Bonhoeffer said this: “There is meaning in every journey that is unknown to the traveler.”
How true that is. As we travel our life journey, it becomes clear to us sooner or later that we simply do not know the meaning of every twist and turn. And we certainly don’t know where our path will lead. That causes fear in us and we are afraid to take the next winding curve not knowing what may be beyond. It causes fear when two roads cross and we do not know which is the best way to turn. It can be disconcerting to reach a fork in the road knowing that at least one path will become our “road not taken.”
The religious folk among us believe that God is guiding every step, that God lights our way and we are compelled to always take the right fork. But even those who follow their path with that level of certainty still move forward with some level of fear. No matter how certain we are that our every step is guided, we know that we have choices to make and directions to take. For most of us there is no divine audible voice giving us direction. So we always fear we might take the wrong path.
The most accurate picture of life’s journey is one that includes twists and turns. Taking a journey is always full of unknown meaning, fear, and even risk. But I love the words of Anaïs Nin:
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
Our journeys are full of meaning and full of risk. But our lives will blossom if we take our journey, one step at a time, with hope and faith that there really is meaning in every journey. In the end, it is true that, if we have follow in faith, God does lead us.
Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory. Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, O God, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.
From Psalm 73 and 143